Sunday, February 24, 2008

My Two Cents

So, I love the Academy Awards. Even when they suck. Even when they are waaaaay too long. Even when I've actually only seen Juno, No Country for Old Men, Ratatouille, Sicko, Lars and the Real Girl, and The Bourne Ultimatum this year. I know, sad. Movies are expensive, people. Despite this, I still have my opinions on who will win. And how do I form these opinions?? By obsessive, systematic research. After consulting Roger Ebert, The Washington Post's Probe, David Ansen, David Carr, The Los Angeles Times' Buzzmeter, the Gurus o' Gold and the Guros o' Gold 2.0 (No, I don't know why there's a 2.0), and even Ramin Setoodeh, who now works at Newsweek and who lived in my dorm when I was an RA, here are my (and really, they couldn't be anything but) guesses:

Update: I didn't win the pool. I came in third. Bob came in second, but only because I told him to go for Ratatouille and The Counterfeiters. We lost to a guy who kept leaving the party to check on his steaks. Needless to say, I am upset. Upset in that overly upset way that overly competitive people become upset but don't want to admit. Here's the debrief:

Actor--Leading: Daniel Day Lewis, There Will be Blood
He is probably the most sure thing this year. Sure I didn't see the movie, but I did see In the Name of the Father and My Left Foot, and even though I was too young to actually understand them, I knew enough to recognize that D.D.L. was a great actor. That's enough for me.

Got it.

Actor--Supporting: Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men
Bardem is a pretty safe bet. I'm a little tempted to go with Hal Holbrook, who dressed as Mark Twain and did an awesome performance for my Mark Twain and the Gilded Age class. He did a Q & A session afterward, and he was such a neat guy. And he's married to Dixie Carter. That's cool. If Hal Holbrook wins, I won't mind.

Got it.

Actress--Leading: Julie Christie, Away from Her
This is one of the the least agreed-upon categories. The consensus seems to be that Ellen Page is too young and too new, that Laura Linney's performance was great but the movie wasn't big enough, and no one liked Elizabeth (I did, though). I may be kicking myself for not going with Marion Cotillard, who has been very graciously marketing herself, and has the fact that she played a real person in her favor. The Academy loves real people movies, especially destructive real people movies. However, the fact that her movie is in French might go against her. Julie Christie is an old favorite. Also, I must admit that I went for her because Away from Her was written and directed by Sarah Polley, who played Sara Stanley in Road to Avonlea, and we all know about my L.M. Montgomery adoration.

Argh. Marion Cotillard, I can almost forgive you because your speech was sweet.

Actress--Supporting: Cate Blanchett, I'm not There
is the most hotly contested category. I went with Cate because the Academy seems to love Cate. They also like the whole gender-bending thing. Saoirse Ronan seems to have been written off by everyone because of age, which I don't necessarily think is fair (or wise--let's not forget Tatum O'Neal). Ruby Dee is getting a lot of support, and she won the SAG award, but that could be either an indicator of a win tonight or a "We like you, but that's enough" acknowledgment. Amy Ryan's performance was widely appreciated, but I don't think the Academy will take her seriously. Tilda may be the dark horse here. I'm going with Blanchett, but I have no clue, really.


Animated Feature: Ratatouille
Everyone agrees on this one.

Got it.

Art Direction and Cinematography: I'm going There Will be Blood for both. I'm wondering if I'm making a mistake by not going with Atonement. Ah!

Only the Gurus went with Sweeney Todd; I don't feel too bad for missing that one. I got There Will be Blood for Cinematography.

Costume Design: Atonement
At first, I thought it would be Elizabeth. None of the experts think so, though.

I should have gone with my gut. I am mad about this one.

Directing/Best Picture/Adapted Screenplay: The Coen Brothers, No Country for Old Men
Everyone seems to agree.

Got it.

Documentary Feature: No End in Sight
People are upset. This movie shows why.

EVERYONE thought this one would win. I am really surprised it didn't. Taxi to the Dark Side won for the same reasons everyone thought No End in Sight would, I think.

Documentary Short: Freeheld
I had to go with what the Buzzmeter says on this one; no one else was saying anything about the category. I figure that the Buzzmeter's 32 person panel is as good a bet as any...

At the party, only Steak Guy and I got this one right. Research paid off for both of us.

Film Editing: The Bourne Ultimatum
This isn't everyone's favorite, but I think that the movie deserves it. I might pay for this one.

Got it.

Foreign Language Film: The Counterfeiters
WWII is always a safe choice.

Got it.

Makeup: La Vie en Rose
The makeup job here has been called "magic" by several sources. I would be very surprised if this isn't the winner.

Got it.

Original Score: Atonement
This is widely agreed upon, though several sources say to watch out for Ratatouille.

Got it.

Original Song: "Falling Slowly," Once
Three songs from Enchanted split the vote, and "Falling Slowly" is great anyway. This one looks sure thing-ish.

Got it. Why haven't I seen this movie?

Short Film--Animated: I Met the Walrus
I'm not so sure about this category. But when in doubt, go with a movie about meeting John Lennon.

I almost went with Peter & the Wolf. I am bitter about this one, because I used to listen to my Peter & the Wolf album on my Fischer Price record player incessantly as a kid. That should have been enough of a sign.

Short Film--Live Action: At Night
This is a flip-the-coin category. I'm going with cancer patients.

The Boyfriend chose Le Mozart des Pickpockets, the bastard, "because it was French." I am withholding sex for two weeks.

Sound Editing and Sound Mixing: No Country for Old Men
Hell if I know...

I think it was David Ansen who said go for Bourne here. I almost listened to him, but I really thought that Academy would go more highbrow.

Visual Effects: Transformers

Polar bears! Shoot!

Screenplay--Adapted: Juno
I think Diablo Cody has a decent chance. It feels the most innovative, although the dialog in the first ten minutes of the movie made me want to commit Seppuku (I have HONOR). I think Lars and the Real Girl is just as deserving in the innovative category, though.

Good for her. Cody's speech was excellent, I thought.

So there you have it, kids. This is the first year I've really gone out of my way to do research. I'm feeling pretty good about these, though I'm afraid the more obscure categories are going to bite me in the ass. Good luck to fellow poolers!

So there you have it, kids. Steak Guy takes my win. It will probably still bug me until next year. Next year, by the way, I'm choosing the nominees with the most vowels. Steak Guy!


el super said...

wait did i miss something! you didn't even do best picture

Casey said...

I did Adapted Screenplay, Best Picture, and Directing all together. Coen Brothers take all.

Emily said...

nice calls on this one. i haven't done an oscar pool ever.